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Interdependent Preferences and Groups of Agents

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  • Stanley Reiter

Abstract

An individual's preferences are assumed to be malleable and may be influenced by the preferences of others. Mutual interaction among individuals whose preferences are interdependent powers a dynamic process in which preference profiles evolve over time. Two formulations of the dynamic process are presented. One is an abstract model in which the iteration of a mapping from profiles to profiles defines a discrete time dynamic process; the other is a linear discrete time process specified in more detail. Examples motivate the model and illustrate its application. Conditions are given for the existence of a stable preference profile--a rest point of the dynamic process. A stable profile is naturally associated with a division, not in general unique, of the set of agents into subgroups with the property that preference interdependencies within a subgroup are "stronger" than those across subgroups. The conventional case in which each agent's preference relation is exogenously given is, in this model, the special case where each subgroup consists of just one agent. Copyright 2001 by Blackwell Publishing Inc.

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Paper provided by Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science in its series Discussion Papers with number 1217.

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Date of creation: Aug 1998
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Handle: RePEc:nwu:cmsems:1217

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  1. Geanakoplos, John & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1989. "Psychological games and sequential rationality," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 60-79, March.
  2. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1988. "Information dependent games : Can common sense be common knowledge?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 27(3), pages 215-221.
  3. Gibbard, Allan, 1974. "A Pareto-consistent libertarian claim," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 388-410, April.
  4. Lindbeck, Assar & Weibull, Jorgen W, 1988. "Altruism and Time Consistency: The Economics of Fait Accompli," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1165-82, December.
  5. Sen, Amartya, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(1), pages 152-57, Jan.-Feb..
  6. Bergstrom, Theodore C, 1999. " Systems of Benevolent Utility Functions," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 1(1), pages 71-100.
  7. Werlang, Sérgio Ribeiro da Costa, 1988. "Common knowledge," Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 118, FGV/EPGE Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  8. Sen, Amartya Kumar, 1970. "The Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal," Scholarly Articles 3612779, Harvard University Department of Economics.
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Cited by:
  1. John Conley & Ali Toossi & Myrna Wooders, 2006. "Memetics and voting: how nature may make us public spirited," International Journal of Game Theory, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 71-90, December.
  2. John Conley & Myrna H. Wooders & Ali Toossi, 2001. "Evolution & Voting: How Nature Makes us Public Spirited," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 28(24), pages A0.

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